The Official Course Description

COURSE NAME: Law 350A The Law Centre Clinical Law Program


Pre-requisites: Evidence

UNIT VALUE: 7.5 units


Students are required to attend this program "full-time"; minimum attendance being 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Additional time will be required for trial preparation, the conduct of files, seminars, and public education programs.


Fall, Spring, Summer


Glenn Gallins


Course Objectives

The primary objective of The Law Centre clinical program is to further the educational goals of the faculty by providing the opportunity for students to learn by conducting files on behalf of clients, under close supervision in a model law office setting.

Participation in the program will give the student the opportunity for students reflection and critical examination of:

1. The role of a lawyer

2. The conflict between a lawyer's professional identity and personal morality;

3. The values implicit in the current substantive law;

4. The relationship between law and justice;

5. The role and utility of the Courts;

6. The impact of the law on creating and resolving clients problems; and

7. The need for law reform.

The experience will give the student the opportunity to develop practical and applied skills and a solid grounding in many substantive areas of law. Under the rubric of lawyering skills the following subjects are now being formally taught at The Law Centre;

1. Interviewing

2. Counselling

3. Fact Investigation

4. Negotiation

5. Drafting - including:

(a) Correspondence;

(b) Opinions;

(c) Court documents;

(d) Agreements; and

(e) Wills

6. Advocacy in Criminal Court - including:

(a) An overview of the preparation for criminal trials;

(b) Dealing with clients in custody

(c) First Appearances;

(d) Examination-in-chief

(e) Cross-examination;

(f) Voir dires;

(g) Objecting to evidence;

(h) Submissions;

(i) Speaking to sentence; and

(j) Defending persons charged with drinking-driving offences.

7. Family Law - including:

(a) Initial interviewing of clients with family problems

(b) Problem identification and referral to appropriate resources

(c) Counselling;

(d) Adoptions including preparation of pleadings, Affidavits, appearing in Chambers and drawing Orders; and

(e) Divorces through The Law Centre Assisted Divorce Program including drafting a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim, Affidavit of Service and documents to obtain an Order.

8. Advocacy in Small Claims Court including:

(a) An overview of Small Claims procedures;

(b) Drafting pleadings;

(c) Preparing for and making Small Claims Chambers applications;

(d) Preparing for and appearing at Settlement Conferences;

(e) Examination-in-chief;

(f) Cross-examination;

(g) Submissions after trial;

(h) Preparation of Orders;

(i) Collection procedures; and

(j) Preparation of Small Claims appeals.

9. Chambers Practice

10. Advocacy before various administrative appeal bodies - including:

(a) Residential Tenancy Arbitrators;

(b) BC Benefits (Welfare) Tribunals;

(c) E.I., Board of Referees and Umpires;

(d) Workers' Compensation Review Boards;

(e) Criminal Injuries Compensation Review Boards

(f) Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunals; and

(g) Mental Health Review Panels

11. Procedures for the Resolution of Ethical Dilemmas

12: The use of referral agencies

13. An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Resolution of Legal Problems

N.B. Every student may not have the opportunity to directly participate in each of the above areas. However, the program offers a broad exposure to a variety of legal problems. The opportunity to be involved varies according to the problems presented by clients and the limitations imposed by the Rules of The Law Society and the Regulations of the Legal Services Society.

The following subjects are dealt with at The Law Centre under the rubric of Law Office Management and Procedure:

1. Liability of Lawyers.

2. Time Management.

3. Practice Management

4. The use of office equipment.

5. The application of computers to the practice of law.

6. Stress management

7. Self-evaluation.

In addition, an ability to speak in public is fostered through the requirement that students deliver or participate in a number of public legal education programs.

In order to meet the objectives of the course, students are required to perform certain tasks which are listed on the "List of Required Experiences" which is distributed to students at the beginning of the term.


The term begins with a three week orientation period during which students are expected to gain a knowledge of the lawyering skills which will be used during the rest of the term.

The manner of instruction during the orientation generally follows the following plan:

1. Students are provided with relevant materials to read prior to a seminar session.

2. A brief lecture may be given or an example of the skill to be developed is demonstrated using a video taped example.

3. Students are provided with problems to be role played.

4. Students are video taped performing role plays.

5. Students are guided in a class critique of the role play.

During the term there are three seminar sessions per week. Sessions on Tuesday and Thursday deal with social welfare legislation, and practice management. Friday afternoon seminars are devoted to planning sessions and continuing case commentaries.

In addition to the formal teaching sessions, students will be critiqued in the performance of various skills.


Assessment and Evaluation

Grades: Students may receive either a pass or fail grade for this course.

Form of Evaluation:

In addition to receiving a pass or fail grade for the course, students will participate in a major self-evaluation of their performance at The Law Centre. This evaluation will be reviewed by the instructor.

The evaluation of a student's performance at The Law Centre is considered under a number of categories:

1. Students will be required to pass an examination at the conclusion of the orientation period.

2. Practice Management: Students are required to:

(a) Perform all of the work required on the List of Required Experiences;

(b) Attend all classes and seminars;

(c) Conduct a number of public legal education programs;

(d) Prepare a research paper;

(e) Present a series of case commentaries;

(f) Meet at regular intervals with their principal;

(g) Attend at all Court appearances as required for the proper conduct of the files under their control;

(h) Maintain an efficient and reliable diary system for all files under their control;

(i) Attend when required by the "ROTA" to interview clients at The Law Centre; and

(j) Submit their research papers and present their case commentaries at a time set by the instructor.


3. Lawyering Skills: Students are required to:

(a) Demonstrate that they have understood and have been able to apply in appropriate circumstances the skills which have been presented during the orientation sessions and weekly seminars.

(b) Demonstrate that they are able to identify and understand the law relating to their clients's cases.

In addition, students will meet at regular intervals with the instructor or assistant instructor to review all the student's files. Finally, the student's principal will be asked to provide comments about the student's performance.

In the event that a student's performance is not satisfactory to receive a pass grade, the student will receive a written notification during the term of the areas in which an improved performance is required.

4. Research Paper: In order to obtain a passing grade, a student must submit a research paper which must:

(a) Be their own work;

(b) Demonstrate that the student fully researched the paper; and

(c) Be well organized and written with clarity.

5. Case Commentary: In order to obtain a passing grade, a student must present at least one case commentary which demonstrates that the student:

(a) Understands the factual issues in the case;

(b) Understands the legal issues;

(c) Has considered social, moral or ethical aspects of the case;

(d) Has considered all aspects of professional responsibility and liability; and

(e) Has considered all reasonable solutions from an interdisciplinary viewpoint.


Students will conduct files on behalf of clients which concern:

(a) Summary conviction offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and Provincial Legislation, as well as under the Controlled Substances Act and other Federal Legislation;

(b) Small Claims Court actions;

(c) Landlord/Tenant disputes;

(d) Proceedings arising from the applications or refusals of BC Benefits (Welfare), Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan benefits, Workers' Compensation and Criminal Injures Compensation;

(e) The preparation of Wills and specific other problems relating to the aged;

(f) Immigration matters; and

(g) Divorce and other family matters.

(The above list is not meant to be exhaustive.)

It is anticipated that students will handle between 45 and 60 active files at any one time.

In addition to conducting files on behalf of clients, students will be required to assist in the presentation of several public legal education programs including:

(a) Small Claims Court orientation and Defending a Traffic Ticket; and

(b) Acting as a Master of Ceremonies for evening Public Legal Education Programs for the public.

Students may be required to participate in other public legal education activities in addition to those listed above.

The program set out above may vary from term to term depending upon student enrollment, the level and type of service requested by Law Centre clientele and the academic requirements of the faculty.

N.B. For the purposes of this program ,students will be enrolled in temporary articles with a member of the Victoria bar. Any student foreseeing difficulties with such enrollment should discuss the difficulty with the clinic director (Prof. Glenn Gallins) as soon as they are offered a position in the program.

Temporary Withdrawal of Students Enrolled in The

Law Centre Clinical Program Pending Report

Where, during the course of a term, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct or lack of competence of a law student enrolled in The Law Centre Clinical Program has adversely affected or may adversely affect,

(i) clients of The Law Centre

(ii) personnel of The Law Centre, including students associated with The Law Centre

(iii) The Law Centre's relationship with the judiciary or members of the practising bar,

the Director may restrict the activities of the student as he or she deems advisable, and the Dean may require a student to withdraw temporarily from The Law Centre Clinical Program pending the receipt of a report on the conduct and lack of competence of the student.

Faculty May Require Student to Withdraw from The Law Centre

After giving the student the opportunity to be heard, the Faculty may re-instate a student who has been obliged to withdraw temporarily from the Program. The Faculty may also require such a student to withdraw permanently from Program if the Faculty is satisfied that the student's conduct or lack of competence may adversely effect member so any of the groups identified above.

Grade of N in The Law Centre Clinical Program

Where the Faculty requires a student to withdraw from The Law Centre Clinical Program, a grade o N shall be entered on the student's academic record and transcript.

Concurrent LL.B./M.P.A. Degrees

Students enrolled in the concurrent LL.B./M.P.A. program will be subject to the above Law Faculty regulations mutatis mutandis in regard to their LL.B. course requirements. Grade point averages for the purposes of these regulations or for the purposes of awarding Law Faculty prizes and scholarships will be calculated only on their LL.B course requirements.

revised Spring 1999

Page Last edited: 2008-09-16 21:43

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